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20,000 Spam Comments

Not that this has anything to do with the Toyota Tundra, but this website has been up and running for about 18 months now and we’ve been hit with about 20,000 spam comments.

That’s probably not that bad – there are probably a lot of sites with more attempted spam – but it sure seems like a lot.

Fortunately, the system we use to manage the site manages to catch most of these spammers automatically so we don’t have to read them all.

Thanks for reading our site – we’re getting ready to publish a three-part updated comparison of the 09′ Ram and the 09′ Tundra so we don’t have a formal post today. Thanks for checking-in.

Truck Buying Tips – Taking Advantage of an Economic Slowdown

In light of recent economic events, there’s a good chance that most of the people reading this post are probably waiting to buy a new truck. However, if your financial position is good, there has likely never been a better time to buy a new truck.

Tough economic times make for deep discounts on new trucks and sometimes desperate dealerships. Here’ are some tips you can use to take advantage.

Here’s a short list of suggestions for making sure you get the best price possible on your next new truck:

Auto News From Around The Web October 27, 2008

French labor board inspectors have recommended that Renault be investigated for “moral and institutional harassment of workers” following the suicides of 5 Renault product development engineers over the course of 18 months. Once of the engineers left a suicide note stating “Tell Mr. Ghosn [former head of Renault, now head of Nissan] I can’t handle the pressure anymore.” Evidently Carlos Ghosn has a reputation as a harsh taskmaster – hopefully this news will lead to changes.

Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra has announced that their new product line (originally scheduled to debut in early 2009) will be delayed approximately 6 months. While Mahindra and Mahindra has promised to offer inexpensive trucks and SUVs with compact diesels that get 30mpg+, a recent product review by JD Power identified nearly 200 ‘issues’ with the vehicles…everything from a lack of cupholders to inferior quality interior components. Of course a few growing pains are to be expected for any foreign automaker entering the U.S. market, but it’s going to be interesting to see if the new Mahindra vehicles will be ready for prime-time when they debut late next year.

Following a 944,000 vehicle recall, GM’s innovative heated windshield sprayer has evidently been discontinued, as they’ve announced that they’re no longer going to be offering the product in it’s current form. Reports of vehicle fires prompted the recall, and difficulties with the supplier have likely stopped production of this feature for the short term.

Toyota will begin offering a Visa “Toyota Rewards” card that will give consumers points on every purchase they make with the card towards parts, maintenance, accessories, and buying or leasing a new Toyota vehicle. No word yet on specifics like interest rate or annual fee info, but you can expect it to be a reasonable offering if it’s backed by Toyota Financial Services.

Finally, in an extremely odd (and distrubing) piece of news, a man claims that a prostitute drove his Toyota Tundra into a brick building. You’ll just have to read this story for yourselves…

Ford and Dodge Plan HUGE November Advertising Blitz

With the new 2009 Ram and the new 2009 F150 launching at roughly the same time, it’s fair to expect a pretty healthy advertising blitz. However, considering just how important these two vehicles are to their respective manufacturers, it’s fair to say that November 2008 might just be the biggest new truck advertising month ever.

Here’s the advertising plan for the new Ram:

  1. Hire the director of the hit movies Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and Crimson Tide (among others) to produce some awesome ads.
  2. Buy 1.3 BILLION INTERNET AD IMPRESSIONS on election day (Nov. 4th) and blanket all the major websites (like,,, etc.) with ads about your new truck. Since people are going to be checking online for election returns all day, the chances are good your ads will get noticed. This aspect of the campaign alone could cost as much as $100 million.
  3. Hope that this ad blitz is enough to sell out all of your remaining 2008 Ram inventory as well as get the new 2009 Rams moving.
  4. Pat yourself on the back for a very clever strategy OR, if it fails, get your bankruptcy paperwork in order.

Here are some previews of the Ram Challenge commercials:

Reports That 4.5L Diesel Tundra “Delayed Indefinitely” Don’t Add Up

UPDATE – This news has been confirmed – please see our response “Dropping The Diesel A Dumb Decision

### has reported that plans for a light-duty 4.5L diesel Tundra have been shelved. We officially doubt the veracity of this news report.

1. Toyota is rumored to be producing a 4.5L diesel version of the Landcruiser for the Canadian market next year (promotional materials have been described). Making this engine ready for the low-volume Canadian market while canceling it in the U.S. makes no sense. At the very least, if the Tundra doesn’t get the 4.5L, you can bet that nothing else in the North America will either.

2. The 4.5L diesel boosts Toyota’s CAFE average. Toyota will find it easier to meet new CAFE requirements if they find a way to improve truck and large SUV fuel economy by 25%. The 4.5L diesel would improve fuel economy by at least that much.

3. Everyone else is doing it. Dodge, Ford, and GM definitely need to build small diesel motors if they want to have any chance of meeting federal CAFE requirements. This is an absolute, set in stone, iron-clad fact. The domestics WILL be offering diesel versions of the Ram, Silverado/Sierra, and F150 by 2010 or 2011. Toyota can’t be the only manufacturer that doesn’t offer this engine – at least not without officially becoming an “also-ran.”

4. The LandCruiser and the Sequoia would both benefit from a diesel motor. The 4.5L wasn’t just going to be put in the Tundra – it was also going to be offered in the Sequoia and the LandCruiser. Both of these vehicles could use a powerful and fuel efficient motor.

5. Finally, and most importantly, this rumor doesn’t make sense. If we assume for a moment that the U.S. truck market is going “small,” big truck sales (i.e. three-quarter and one-ton trucks) will suffer the most. Ford, GM, and Dodge have already determined that their HD and SuperDuty lines are overkill for 90% of their buyers, hence their commitment to offering diesel half-ton trucks. The rationale is that by offering a powerful diesel in a half-ton truck, you give people currently driving a 3/4 or 1-ton truck a truck to “step down” to. A half-ton diesel can offer tremendous performance (12k lbs towing, 2500lbs payload) while also offering decent fuel economy and lower maintenance costs. After all, less than 5 years ago most heavy duty trucks (3/4 and 1 ton) couldn’t pull much more than 12k lbs. Now half-tons are pulling that much.

We think this rumor has been “floated” by Toyota’s PR people to guage public response to a possible official announcement. It sounds like the penny-pinchers at Toyota are advocating a step in the wrong direction – hopefully the loud public outcry will put them in their place.